Cantonese Grammar

The Cantonese grammar allows you to manipulate the vocabulary to obtain multiple forms of a word. The grammatical rules below are the most important in Cantonese and help connect words or shape the structure. We start with the prepositions:

And:   [] Audio Under: 下面  [haa5 min6  ] Audio
Before: 之前  [zi1 cin4] Audio After:   [hau6  ] Audio
Inside: 入面  [jap6 min6  ] Audio Outside: 外面  [ngoi6 min6  ] Audio
With: 一同  [jat1 tung4] Audio But: 但是  [daan6 si6] Audio
For:   [wai4 ] Audio From:   [jau4 ] Audio
To:   [heoi2  ] Audio In:   [zoi6 ] Audio

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Questions and Adverbs

To ask questions, use the following:

What?: 什麼  [sam6 maa1  ] Audio Who?: 誰?  [seoi4  ] Audio
How?: 怎樣  [zam2 joeng6] Audio Why?: 為什麼  [wai4 sam6 maa1 ] Audio
Where?: 在哪裡  [zoi6 naa1 lei5 ] Audio

Some of the most important time adverbs:

Never: 永不  [wing5 bat1  ] Audio Rarely: 很少  [han2 siu2  ] Audio
Sometimes: 有時  [jau5 si4 ] Audio Usually: 通常  [tung1 soeng4  ] Audio
Always: 經常  [ging1 soeng4] Audio Very: 更加  [ang1 gaa1 ] Audio

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Most commonly used pronouns in Cantonese:

I:   [ngo5 ] Audio You:   [nei5] Audio
He:   [taa1] Audio She:   [ji1] Audio
We: 我們  [ngo5 mun4] Audio They: 他們  [taa1 mun4] Audio

To express the possession of something [possessive form]:

My: 我的  [ngo5 di1 ] Audio Your: 你的  [ nei5 di1  ] Audio
His: 他的  [taa1 di1 ] Audio Her: 她的  [ji1 di1] Audio
Our: 我們的  [ngo5 mun4 di1] Audio Their: 他們的  [taa1 mun4 di1  ] Audio

Grammar in a sentence

Some random verbs to show how it's being used:

I speak English: 我會講英文  [ngo5 kui2 gong2 jing1 man4 ] Audio
You speak French: 你會講法文  [nei5 kui2 gong2 faat3 man4 ] Audio
He speaks German: 他會講德文  [taa1 kui2 gong2 dak1 man4 ] Audio
She speaks Italian: 她會講意大利文  [ji1 kui2 gong2 ji3 daai6 lei6 man4 ] Audio
I visited France: 我去過法國  [ngo5 heoi2 gwo1 faat3 gwok3 ] Audio
I will drink milk: 我將會飲牛奶  [ngo5 zoeng1 kui2 jam2 ngau4 naai1 ] Audio


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Some extra grammatical structures:

I understand you: 我明白你  [ngo5 ming4 baak6 nei5  ] Audio
I don't understand you: 我不明白你  [ngo5 bat1 ming4 baak6 nei5 ] Audio
I don't speak French: 我不會說法文  [ngo5 bat1 kui2 jyut6 faat3 man4] Audio
This is my house: 這是我的房子  [ze2 si6 ngo5 di1 fong2 zi2  ] Audio
That restaurant is far: 那間餐廳很遠  [na6 gaan1 caan1 teng1 han2 jyun5  ] Audio
No problem: 無問題  [mou4 man6 tai4] Audio

The above Cantonese grammar can provide tools to use in coordination with the Cantonese vocabulary to obtain some popular Cantonese phrases.

Cantonese Phrases

Cantonese Vocabulary


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Did you know? Grammar can help you increase your vocabulary dramatically. Grammar is like a tool which helps you manipulate words in a sentence by changing the shape and location of a word to create something new out of the old one.